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Last Month's Top Sellers

 

1. ALVVAYS - S/T
2. BELLE AND SEBASTIAN - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
3. THE WAR ON DRUGS - Lost In The Dream
4. SLEATER-KINNEY - No Cities To Love
5. VA - Native North America

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FEATURED RELEASES

Wednesday
Feb252015

UNIVERSAL TOGETHERNESS BAND - S/T

"Between 1979 and 1982, The Universal Togetherness Band tracked unearthly portions of their sprawling songbook for bewildered students in Columbia College’s audio engineering program. Storming the gates of Chicago’s premier recording studios, the erudite party band explored permutations of soul, jazz-fusion, new wave, and disco with little regard for studio rates or the availability of magnetic tape.

Universal Togetherness Band captures the brightest, never-before-heard moments from this visionary group’s 5-semester recording bender." - Numero Group

Wednesday
Feb252015

TRAVIS BRETZER - Waxing Romantic

"Like so many before him, Travis Bretzer has honed his pop skills writing jingles for his local radio station. This fact will surprise no one who has the opportunity to soak in Bretzer's effortless, melodic guitar-pop. With this experience in commercial music and the success of fellow Edmonton, Alberta native Mac DeMarco informing the sonic shape of his tunes, Bretzer has crafted a smooth, lush collection of pop songs for his debut LP, Waxing Romantic.

Recorded in the spacious environment of Gary's Electric Studio in Brooklyn, Bretzer assembled a crack-team of musical cronies to help him realize his vision. With production from Jorge Elbrecht of Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and contributions from James Richardson of MGMT and Regal Degal's Josh da Costa, Waxing Romantic is certainly not lacking in seasoned, acclaimed talent." - The 405

Tuesday
Feb242015

ERIC CHENAUX - Skullsplitter

"Eric Chenaux has emerged as one of the most distinctive, innovative and original voices in what might be called avant-garde balladry, juxtaposing his gorgeously pure and open singing against a guitar sound and style that truly stands alone. Skullsplitter is the impressive new album that confirms Chenaux's singular aesthetic: genuine, natural, unaffected vocals gliding through slow, smoky melodies while electric and nylon-string guitars are deployed with adventurously experimental, dextrous, semi-improvisational technique and texture.

Skullsplitter stands as a welcome and natural evolution from Chenaux's previous song-based album Guitar & Voice (2012), his first properly solo record for Constellation (i.e. made without guest musicians or collaborators), which was widely celebrated as his best work to date, championed by The Wire, Said The Gramophone, Stereophile and others for its unique sensibility and sensitivity. Skullsplitter builds on these strengths and similarly consists solely of Chenaux's voice and guitar." - Constellation

Tuesday
Feb242015

VA - Rhythm 'n' Bluesin' By The Bayou: Mad Dogs, Sweet Daddies & Pretty Babies

"On this tenth volume in the By The Bayou series, the third to focus on R&B, we have 28 tracks from the vaults of J.D. Miller's Crowley studio, Eddie Shuler's Goldband facility, Floyd Soileau's Rod label, Sam Montel's Montel label and Golen Richard's Richland imprint, all from South Louisiana.

The majority of the material comes from that goldmine on North Parkerson Ave in Crowley, where the music store founded by J.D. Miller is now operated by his youngest son Mark. The ceilings and walls are hung with guitars and the floor space is taken up with amplifiers and speakers. The counters and stands are festooned with guitar strings, picks, cords, cables, plugs and all manner of paraphernalia for the professional musician. In one corner is a dwindling number of CDs, which are difficult for a small-town store to sell in competition with outlets such as Amazon, even if much of the material was recorded right here. Behind the store area, hidden from view, is a large working studio where Mark, a bass player, sound engineer and producer record local talent. Most important to us is another part of the building – the tape store, where Alec Palao and I have sifted through the reels, and Alec has transferred close on 3,000 tracks, including 22 of the titles on this CD, eight of which are previously unissued." - Ace Records

Tuesday
Feb242015

OS BRAZOES - S/T (1969)

"Rare and highly sought after in its original format, Os Brazoes' self-titled album was originally released on RGE Discos in 1969, a psychedelic masterpiece that fuses samba, R&B and rock'n'roll influences using fuzz guitars, synths, percussion, lush vocals and effects." - Mr. Bongo

"The group first made a name for itself as Gal Costa’s backing band, yet allegedly never recorded alongside her. After seeing the electrifying shows put on by the group, the RGE label soon signed the group to record a single album. Though the influences of Os Mutantes and other tropicália artists of the time are present, what is laid to tape sounds nothing like the group’s contemporaries. The gloss of lush horns and complex arrangements found on Veloso and Gil records from the same era is missing. Found in its place is a wall of fuzz spread across the majority of the songs provided by, simply, Roberto. Layered within is wah-wah-drenched rhythm guitar by Miguel, who later adopted the moniker Miguel de Deus, recording one solo album titled Black Soul Brothers and another as a member of Assim Assado." - Wax Poetics

Monday
Feb232015

BUNNY LION - Red

"Recently unearthed and available for the first time in decades, Bunny Lion's Red is the perfect gateway record for anyone curious about dub, roots reggae, or dancehall. A mysterious deejay LP, Red was originally released on London’s Starlight records in 1979. Little was written about the album at the time; however, we have uncovered that Bunny Lion is in fact the legendary Puddy Roots of Killamanjaro Soundsystem fame. The album is pressed on red vinyl and both versions include liners with unreleased photos and interviews with Puddy Lion and Linval Thompson." - Captured Tracks

Thursday
Feb192015

JEFRE CANTU-LEDESMA - A Year With 13 Moons

"This isn't the first time that drum machines turn up in Cantu-Ledesma's music, but they're foregrounded here as never before. That very specific combination of elements—the ringing guitar tones and flat, dry, electronic thwacks—will inevitably suggest comparisons with Durutti Column; Cocteau Twins and Harold Budd's The Moon and the Melodies is another reference point, though Cantu-Ledesma's waterlogged-tape timbres and power-sander effects give the album its own specific mood and feel...If 13 Moons were a sculpture, it would be an abalone shell crusted with battery acid; it would be a broken, bleeding heart ensconced in a burnt-out amplifier. Ultimately, it's hard to decide if this is the year's most fucked up ambient album, or its most bucolic noise record." - Pitchfork

Friday
Feb132015

JIMMY HOLIDAY - Spread Your Love: The Complete Minit Singles 1966-1970

"Jimmy Holiday is probably best known as the co-writer of 'Put A Little Love In Your Heart,' 'All I Ever Need Is You' and a handful of other hit songs, including several for his friend and mentor, Ray Charles. But to connoisseurs of '60s soul, he is regarded as a singer of no small talent, with an individual style that made the release of each new single an important event.

This Kent compilation shines the spotlight on the recordings Jimmy made for Minit in the second half of the 1960s, a period in which he was at his peak as a vocalist and songwriter, working with some of the best musicians and producers of the era, and enjoying a hit or two along the way. Those sides mark him as a man who should have been a big star. He might well have become one, but for a busy schedule writing for others and health problems that led to his death at the age of just 54." - Ace Records

Thursday
Feb122015

VA - Ciao Bella! Italian Girl Singers Of The 1960s

"Connoisseurs of 1960s girl-pop have been well served in the CD era, particularly those with a preference for American or British singers. Good music, of course, is not exclusive to the English-speaking world, and collections devoted to the female vocalists of France, Japan, Spain and Germany are also available, but to the best of my knowledge their Italian counterparts have not been anthologised. If Ciao Bella! (released as a 24-track CD or 12-track LP) is the first of its kind, let’s hope it’s not the last. In a country known for its song festivals, most notably the prestigious event held annually in Sanremo, lushly orchestrated ballads have always been especially popular, and a few exceptional examples are featured here. Ciao Bella! opens, however, with a selection of uptempo titles." - Ace Records

Tuesday
Feb032015

BOB DYLAN - Shadows In The Night

"Bob Dylan sings Sinatra? It shouldn't work, but Shadows In The Night is quite gorgeous, the sound of an old man picking over memories, lost loves, regrets and triumphs amid an ambient tumble of haunting electric instrumentation. It is spooky, bittersweet, mesmerisingly moving and showcases the best singing from Dylan in 25 years.

The very concept seems outrageous, which is perhaps why Dylan’s management have been at pains to insist it is not a Sinatra tribute.

As much as I love Dylan, recent albums have suggested his barking, growling voice was shot beyond repair. but here his singing is delicate, tender and precise. There is age in the notes, for sure, a wobble and croak as he tackles chords from unusual angles, and falls away with fading breath. Yet somehow this ancient croon focuses the songs, compelling listeners to address their interior world in a way glissando prettiness might disguise.

It is perfectly set in simple yet inspired arrangements for a five-piece band, replacing the usual nostalgic orchestras with weeping pedal steel guitars, gently sawed double bass, a swell of horns and the lightest hint of brushed hi-hats." - The Independent

Saturday
Jan242015

TWERPS - Range Anxiety

"When Twerps describe themselves as a collaborative band, they really mean it, as all four members contribute to songwriting and vocal duties. On Range Anxiety, they once again team up with producer Jack Farley, and the result is a great continuation of their self-titled debut album and recent Underlay EP. 

Don't expect a monumental shift on the Australian four-piece's sophomore effort, but when you've got a good formula, why mess with it? Range Anxiety strikes a good balance between the band's more laid-back vibe—which you'll find on tracks such as 'I Don't Mind' and 'Fern Murderers'—and their more upbeat and jovial iteration, which can be found on highlight 'Back To You' and 'Cheap Education.' And while the album employs the same rhythmic backbone for the majority of its tracks, it works to the album's advantage, tying all the material neatly together." - Exclaim! 

Saturday
Jan242015

THE SUPREME JUBILEES - It'll All Be Over

"A band of brothers and cousins, the group was founded from two families: brothers Joe and Dave Kingsby plus Dave’s son David Kingsby Jr., and keyboardist Leonard Sanders plus his brothers Phillips (drummer), Tim (bassist), and Melvin (tenor). The Sanders clan grew up singing together in the Witness of Jesus Christ church in Fresno, CA, where dad Marion was pastor. Guitarist Larry Price completed the line-up that recorded the group’s first (and, prophetically, only) album, It'll All Be Over.

If God had a disco, the DJ would be playing The Supreme Jubilees. 'We won’t have to cry no more,' the tuxedo-clad group would sing, in high, angelic vocals over smooth grooves. 'It’ll all be over.' Prepare to dance and contemplate death all at the same time." - Light In The Attic

Saturday
Jan242015

JORDAN DE LA SIERRA - Gymnosphere: Song Of The Rose

"Before New Age hit terra firma at the dawn of the 1980s, the classically-trained Bay Area composer Jordan De La Sierra's consciousness soared with cosmic concepts. With cues and lessons from the great minimalists La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Pandit Pran Nath, and help from the venerable public radio program Hearts of Space, De La Sierra embarked on journey in alternate tunings and resounding reverberations, transporting entranced listeners from the Golden Gates to the intergalactic." - Numero Group

Saturday
Jan242015

ARTHUR - Dreams and Images

"If you had met Arthur Lee Harper in 1967, around the time he was writing his debut album, it probably wouldn’t have been too long before he introduced himself as a poet. That might seem strange, considering he did not actually publish poems. Instead, he played guitar and wrote songs—not verse set to music, but rhyming lyrics with verses and choruses, delicate melodies and Romantic imagery. He was then what we might call today a singer-songwriter, but the '60s being the '60s, Harper and his friends Stephen John Kalinich and Mark Lindsey Buckingham had grander ambitions than simply strumming pop tunes or providing entertainment. Poetry was an aspiration, a true calling, a means of peeling away the veneer of society and exposing some hard human truths both beautiful and revolting.

Before Harper signed with Lee Hazlewood’s LHI Records, he was living at the YMCA and sharing bags of potatoes with his friends. Dreams and Images, released under his first name to almost no fanfare, did not do much to change those conditions, and this reissue does not present it as a lost or unheralded classic. Instead, it's another piece of the LHI puzzle that Light in the Attic has been putting together for a few years now. In that regard, it's a revealing artifact of that scene, as well as a gentle statement of purpose by a struggling poet." - Pitchfork

Saturday
Jan242015

VA - Native North America Vol. 1: Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985

From the impressive range of styles, regions and eras covered (as well as the hours of research that undoubtedly went into this compilation) to the stunning layout and typesetting, Kevin Howes and co. have put together one awe-inspiring document!

"[Native North America]'s power stems from the convergence of familiar influences (Beatles, Stones, Dylan, especially Neil Young) with the traditions, languages and lyrical concerns of the Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples. Apart from Buffy Sainte-Marie, the Saskatchewan-born, US-raised Cree singer who became a 1960s folk star, this strand of North American music has been almost entirely forgotten.

Bringing it to light was a Herculean task for Vancouver-based DJ and compiler Kevin Howes. He began collecting these records 15 years ago, rummaging through record stores, private libraries, dilapidated warehouses and neglected corners of radio station archives in order to find artists who were 'off the grid.'

'The thing that I found appalling and shocking was there was no information available,' he says. 'I’d find a record somewhere and Google the artist and I was shooting blanks. I had to go straight to the source to ask for context and the stories behind the music.'" - The Guardian

Saturday
Jan242015

ARIEL KALMA - An Evolutionary Music: Original Recordings 1972-1979

"Ariel Kalma's boundary-blurring electronic music is heard here in radiant detail across a selection of work spanning his early free-jazz and spoken-word trips to his infinite modular synthesizer and analogue rhythm-machine meditations. Kalma's story is one of world travel, musical discovery and ego abandonment. Yet for an artist who often discarded public recognition in favor of the ascetic truths in musicmaking, An Evolutionary Music offers the imprint of an outright auteur.

Born in France, but rarely in one place for long, Kalma's 1970s migrations took flight through the decade's furthest spaces of musical and spiritual invention. As a hired horn for well-known French groups, the young musician toured as far as India in 1972, a place where Kalma found an antidote to rock 'n' roll's glitz and glamour in sacred music traditions. Kalma would later return to India and learn circular breathing techniques enabling him to sustain notes without pause against tape-looping harmonies configured through his homemade effects units.

Those effects evolved from Kalma's loyalty to a beloved dual ReVox setup—two tape machines 'chained' together to form a primitive delay unit. Over looped saxophone melodies, Kalma would mix in all shades of polyphonic color, synthesizing fragments of poetry with ambient space or setting modal flute melodies to rippling drum machine patterns and starlit field recordings. The results collapse distinctions between “electro-acoustic”, “biomusicology” and “ambient” categorization." - RVNG Intl.

Tuesday
Dec092014

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS 2014

Our Staff Best Of 2014 list will be posted shortly, but in the meantime here's hoping this guide helps you find the right gift for any or all of the music-obsessed in your life/on your list (current availability cannot be guaranteed, so feel free to call or email us to confirm stock):

 

FOLK-ROCK/AMERICANA

VA - Native North America
LEAD KINDLY LIGHT 
(hardcover + 2CD)
PARCHMAN FARM: Photographs and Field Recordings, 1947-1959 
(hardcover + 2CD)
VA - When I Reach That Heavenly Shore: Unearthly Black Gospel 1926-1936 
(3CD)
BOB DYLAN - The Basement Tapes Complete/Raw: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 
(6CD / 2CD or 3LP)
THE OXFORD AMERICAN - Southern Music Issue 2014 (magazine + CD)
NEIL YOUNG - Storytone (CD or 2CD) 
WILCO - What's Your 20? Essential Tracks 1994-2014 (2CD)
WILCO - Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014 (4CD or 4LP) 
BLUES IMAGES 2015 CALENDAR: Classic Blues Artwork From The 1920s, Vol. 12 (CD included)

 

 

 

 

 

MISANTHROPIC MAVERICKS & CHARISMATIC CRANKS

VA - There's A Dream I've Been Saving: Lee Hazlewood Industries 1966-1971 (8LP/4CD/book/DVD) 
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART - Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 to 1972
(4CD)
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - S/T (45th Anniversary Deluxe Editions)
(CD remaster / 2CD / 2LP / 6CD)
NICK CAVE: 20,000 Days On Earth (DVD/Blu-ray)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVERYTHING'S GONE GREY: ALTERNATIVE ANNIVERSARY EDITIONS (ET AL.)

BARBED WIRE KISSES: The Jesus and Mary Chain Story (hardcover)
SUB POP USA: The Subterranean Pop Music Anthology, 1980-1988 
(paperback)
UNWOUND - No Energy (3LP)
BEDHEAD - 1992-1998 
(4CD)
The Last Pogo Jumps Again
(DVD)
The Pitchfork Review No. 4
YO LA TENGO - Extra Painful (2CD / 2LP)
PIXIES - Doolittle 25 
(3CD)

 

 

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL SELECTIONS

WILLIAM ONYEABOR - CD box set (9CD)
VERCKYS ET L'ORCHESTRE VÉVÉ - Congolese Funk, Afrobeat & Psychedelic Rumba 
(hardcover)
VA - 90 Degrees Of Shade: Hot Jump-Up Island Sounds From The Caribbean 
(2CD / 2LP [Vols. 1 + 2])

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOUL 'N' ROCK'N'ROLL

VA - Such A Much: R&B Girls of the '50s & '60s
VA - Hang On Sloopy: The Bert Berns Story Volume 3
VA - Bring It On Home: Black America Sings Sam Cooke
L.C. COOKE - The Complete SAR Recordings

 

 

 





JAZZ INNOVATIONS/VOCAL INTERPRETATIONS

JOHN COLTRANE - Offering: Live at Temple University (2CD)
VA - Black Fire! New Spirits! Radical and Revolutionary Jazz in the USA 1957-82
(2CD / 3LP)
BLACK FIRE! NEW SPIRITS! IMAGES OF A REVOLUTION: Radical Jazz in the USA 1960-75 (hardcover)
VA - Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression (5CD)
BLUE NOTE: UNCOMPROMISING EXPRESSION 
(hardcover)
SHE & HIM - Classics 
(CD / LP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POPULAR POETS/MUSIC MEMOIRS

LEONARD COHEN - Popular Problems (CD / LP)
I'M YOUR MAN: The Life of Leonard Cohen 
(paperback)
PATTI SMITH - Just Kids 
(paperback)
JERRY LEE LEWIS: His Own Story (hardcover)
VIV ALBERTINE - Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys (hardcover)
JONI MITCHELL: In Her Own Words (hardcover) 
GLYN JOHNS - Sound Man (hardcover) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...AND YOU DON'T STOP

HIP-HOP FAMILY TREE BOOK 1: 1970s-1981 (paperback)
HIP-HOP FAMILY TREE BOOK 2: 1981-1983 (paperback)
CHECK THE TECHNIQUE VOLUME 2: More Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies (paperback)
THE DIRTY VERSION: On Stage, In the Studio, and In the Streets with Ol' Dirty Bastard (hardcover)
DISCO: An Encyclopedic Guide to the Cover Art of Disco Records (hardcover)
VA - Disco: A Fine Selection of Independent Disco, Modern Soul and Boogie 1978-82 (2CD / 2LP [Vols. 1 + 2])

 

 

 

(...AND IF YOU'RE STILL STUCK)

GIFT CERTIFICATES (which can be written out in any denomination)

 

 

 

 
Happy holidays!

Wednesday
Nov262014

EDDY GILES - Southern Soul Brother: The Murco Recordings 1967-1969

"Losin' Boy" appeared on Volume 2 of the classic Deep Soul Treasures series compiled by Dave Godin; a full compilation has been much sought after by lovers of Southern soul.

"Shreveport, Louisiana's Eddy Giles was the star of Dee Marais' Murco label, on which he released a handful of singles between 1967 and 1969, scoring with the regional hit 'Losin’ Boy.' Southern Soul Brother gathers together all his recordings for the label for the first time ever, including the single that was licensed out to Silver Fox. It highlights a talented artist who was adept at covering all the bases required of soul singers of the time from ballads such as 'Happy Man' and 'While I'm Away (Baby, Keep The Faith)' to the up-tempo dance style of 'Eddy’s Go Go Train.'" - Ace Records

Shreveport, Louisiana’s Eddy Giles was the star of Dee Marais’ Murco label, on which he released a handful of singles between 1967 and 1969, scoring with the regional hit ‘Losin’ Boy’. “Southern Soul Brother” gathers together all his recordings for the label, for the first time ever, including the single that was licensed out to Silver Fox. It highlights a talented artist who was adept at covering all the bases required of soul singers of the time, from ballads such as ‘Happy Man’ and ‘While I’m Away (Baby, Keep The Faith)’ to the up-tempo dance style of ‘Eddy’s Go Go Train’.

Access to the Murco master tapes allows us to include three previously unreleased recordings: a bluesy alternative version of his final Murco single ‘Ain’t Gonna Worry No More’, the wistful ‘It Takes More’, and ‘Pins And Needles’, a country song given an exemplary soul treatment. ‘Love With A Feeling’ also verges on the blues, while ‘Soul Feeling’ is revered by fans of southern funk.

- See more at: http://acerecords.co.uk/southern-soul-brother-the-murco-recordings-1967-1969#sthash.MmEqlU6Z.dpuf
Tuesday
Nov252014

STEVE GUNN - Way Out Weather

We already loved his first set of vocal pop/rock tunes for Paradise Of Bachelors (last year's Time Off), but hadn't gotten around ('til right now) to mentioning this equally stealthily-subdued and subtle follow-up album, released last month and sure to make its way onto the lists of record-store staffers and music critics in the weeks ahead/as this year winds down.

"For years, Gunn never toured—for much of the ’00s, he jammed endlessly with pals and co-conspirators and studiously developed his guitar style, which is described reductively as folk but draws on a wide swath of music that includes blues, jazz, Indian classical, punk, and the Grateful Dead. He never wanted to be a traditional virtuoso who played wheedle-wheedle-whee-style solos. Rather, he’s a rhythmic player inclined to repetition and improvisation, more about appreciating forward motion than traveling to a specific destination.

Gunn also had to develop confidence as a vocalist—singing for people will always be more terrifying than playing guitar—though that initial tentativeness isn’t evident on Way Out Weather, his most straightforward and rock-oriented record. Gunn’s singing echoes his playing: It is relaxed and intimate, like a late-night conversation with a trusted confidant, and it gently draws you into the hypnotically beguiling songs." - Grantland

Monday
Nov172014

VA - The Soul Of Designer Records (4CD)

Fans of the Sinner's Crossroads podcast or the stellar I Heard The Angels Singing compilation from last year will find much to like in this 4CD set of soulful, impassioned gospel.

"Between 1967 and 1977 Designer label founder Style Wooten and his studio main man Roland Janes, a heroic figure in Memphis music, produced between 400 and 500 gospel singles. Many of the artists they recorded came from Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, but as the label’s reputation grew they began arriving from more far flung locales—Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, Ohio, the Carolinas, Florida, California—sometimes literally waiting in line for their turn to cut at Janes' Sonic Studios." - Big Legal Mess